Burgundy Belle Red MapleAcer rubrum 'Magnificent Magenta'
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Acer rubrum 'Magnificent Magenta'
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The Burgundy Belle® Red Maple has the richest and deepest red fall foliage of almost any maple tree. Darkening to unique magenta-burgundy and purple-red, its vibrant colors really stand out, and this tree blazes in the fall sunshine. It has a dense, rounded crown, with smaller leaves, making a neater profile than other red maples, and it is perfect for a lawn specimen, for the corners of your lot, or for a row along your property line. It reaches 20 feet in 10 years, and ultimately grows to 40 feet tall and 35 feet across, so give it plenty of room when planting.
Grow the Burgundy Belle® Red Maple in full sun for the best color, which develops well even in the warm falls of the South. This particular variety has a high tolerance of more alkaline soils, so choose it if your soil is not the acid or neutral type that red maples usually need. It thrives in wet or periodically flooded ones, such as along rivers and bodies of water. It also grows well in ordinary garden soils, including urban soils, and established trees tolerate normal summer droughts. It has no serious pests or diseases. Trim only in summer or early fall, not in spring.
When choosing trees, most people go for what is pretty, but there is more you should consider. Several factors determine how well (or badly) a tree is going to do in your climate, and in your garden. This means the invisible is just as important as the visible, and here at the Tree Center we take time to help you consider factors that might not come immediately to mind. With the Burgundy Belle® Red Maple you have a shade tree that is not only beautiful, but it has the right genetic makeup to grow well in places like the one it was discovered in – Kansas. While the east is known for its acid soils, in the Midwest the soils are often more alkaline, yet this particular tree thrived there. Many people love red maple, and would love to grow one, but they don’t have the acid or neutral soils it usually needs. This tree is the answer, as it tolerates alkaline soils better than just about any other variety of red maple. No matter where you garden, if you have alkaline soils, but want to enjoy the beauty of a red maple, this is the tree for you. Of course, even if you have more acid soil, the fall color of the Burgundy Belle Red Maple is exceptional, coming a little later than most other varieties, and blazing a unique deep magenta red, even in the warm falls of the South. It makes a perfect shade tree on a lawn, and it is also a terrific choice for a row marking your property line, or filling corners of the garden.
The Burgundy Belle Red Maple has a compact, rounded to oval crown, much denser and neater than we usually see in red maples. It grows rapidly, 1½ to 2 feet a year, so in 10 years you should have a beautiful 20 feet tree. Over time it will grow taller, eventually reaching around 40 feet, with a broad spread of 35 feet. Be sure to allow enough room for its final size when planting. The leaves of this tree are smaller than normally found on red maple, and also more variable in size, which gives the tree a neatness and a finer visual texture than normal. This makes it a great choice for a smaller garden, or where the tree will be seen relatively close up. The leaves are between 2½ and 3½ inches long and wide, usually deeply divided into 5 or 7 lobes, with irregularly serrated edges. The leaves are rich green, smooth and slightly glossy, and the smooth undersides are a lighter, more yellow-green. In fall they turn vibrant and powerful shades of reds, lighter at first, and then darkening to a true magenta, and even deeper purple-reds. Catching the sun on a fall day, this tree is a real beauty. Its unique colors are very different from the typical lighter reds of this type of tree, and they make it a great choice for your garden if you love rich colors.
Plant the Burgundy Belle Red Maple in full sun for the best fall leaves. It grows well in all soils, from sands to heavy clays, including urban soils. Wet soils, and even soils that are regularly flooded are enjoyed by this tree, making it very useful for places where other trees won’t thrive. Whether that is in a low-lying part of your garden, or along a stream or body of water, it is no wonder that the settlers called this tree ‘swamp maple’. As we already mentioned, it thrives in more alkaline soils than most other red maples, so from acid to alkaline, the pH of your soil is not important. It has few if any pests or diseases, and this is a tough tree for tough places. With its dense crown it needs no trimming to look neat, but if for some reason you do need to trim, do it in summer or early fall, not in late winter and spring, as this tree will bleed sap at that time, which can seriously weaken it.
Red maple, Acer rubrum, is a tree that grows wild across a large part of the country, from Newfoundland up in Canada all the way south into northern Florida, and west into Texas. Melvin Schmidt, from Wathena, Kansas, was a keen gardener who had a row of red maples growing along his property line. He noticed that one tree, right at the end, was different from all the others, and carried smaller leaves that always had a much deeper fall color. The tree itself was more compact too. He took leaves of this tree to the staff at the Kansas State University arboretum, who compared it to many other varieties, and agreed that its gorgeous magenta reds were unlike anything else. He patented his tree in 1990, with the name ‘Magnificent Magenta’ and in 1993 trademarked it with the name Burgundy Belle®. The patent expired in 2020 and the trademark name for this tree is today held by Heritage Trees, Inc. a tree nursery based in Jacksonville, Illinois. Whichever name we use, this is a beautiful tree, and its combination of unique magenta coloring and dense crown make it a great shade tree choice, even if you don’t also need it for its tolerance of alkaline soil. Our shade trees always sell out fast, so order now – our stock is limited.